As I sood there somewhere in Hydrabad, a mean looking, Night Hawkish thing appeared in the horizone.It was approaching towads me in style,kicking some dust in its wake and had a robotic glint in its eyes.Moments later, I was starting at all the new Honda Accord Hybrid , which has landed on our shores as a CBU, aimimng to attract premium plugs in its electrical socket.We switched it on for a very brief time and allowed a few pleasnt electric waves to run through our body,here’s an account of the after effects.
The New-gen Honda Accord still retains its low, flat and wide silhouette.Only this time , some sharp creases , new age illumination bits and that deckered boot lip, all come together to make the design appear more intense,sporty and likeably dynamic.Which is a great thing, consedering that the new Honda Accord is still a lenghty sedan by all means.
Up front, the trademark Honda grille takes centerstage, below which, twin chrome slats ,mildy dyed in blue, put up a smile.
A large air dam gets chrome lining on the lower lip, flanked by all-LED fog lamps.
Where’s the high tech party? Inside the headlamps, which gets full LED illumanatin a curved running lamp, which makes things looks mean , aggresive and new age.
Movign to the sides , a sharp crease runs along the shoulder and the belt line, which tautens things up.
While, if you are paying close attention,you’d notice a blind spot camera on the left wing mirror,which capture area not covered by the mirror and send a live feed on the central screen.
The 18-inch alloy wheels look stylish in their matte black and shiney silver combination.
At the rear, an integrated spoiler does well to make things appear athletic,while there’s an ample dose of chrome above the licence plate and in the chin area of the rear bumper.
Tail lights get LED treatment too,and if you look closely,you’d find some of that blue hue in the clear lens area.As a whole ,the Accord looks puposeful and attractive as a package, appearnce wise.
The new Honda Accord Hybrid may be had within the reminder fashionable Steel argentiferous,Lunar Silver Metallic,White Orchid Pearl ,and Crystal Black Pearl.
Cabin and Comfort
The new Accord’s cabin exudes great sense of space,from the very moment you take a look things.Both front chairs get power adjusters and provide great all round support,but then unlike in the Camry Hybrid, there isn’t any cooling or heating function for the seats.
You do get leather all around, and while it’s all pretty neat and premium, it could be probably have been a shade of better for this class of cars, especially for the stuff on the dashboard.
Rear seats provide excellent under thigh support, even for tall passengers and there’s ample space to lounge around.The rear backrest doesn’t recline though , which would have been a nice feature for those long journeys.The front passenger seat gets a ‘BOSS’ switch though , allowing the sugar daddies to increase their leg space at the flick of a button.Since there are batteries and motor eating up space,the spare tyre will occupy boot area like some Germans car.
The Steering feels sporty to hold and has various swithes to toggle between the screen in the instrument cluster and center display. Electric sunroof is standard , views aren’t panoramic. Cabin illuminatoin is a rather simplistic ‘push me’ lamp which has yellow filaments bulbs. We would’ve liked some LEDs there to go with the theme.
Inside the spacious cabin , the new Honda Accord Hybrid options as a full vary of apparatus with premium functions.This includes Associate in Nursing Engine Remote begin to pre-cool the cabin even before entering the car.A 7.7 ” Advanced touchscreen infotainment system in included that supports Apple Carplay and Android Auto with embedded navigation and internet browsing capability.
The Multifuction Steering Wheel features Control for the Dual zone Climate Control.This system is capable of intelligently adjusting temperature and air volume based on direction and strength of sunlight.
A large speedometer in the middle houses an informative display, which provides all sorts of information.Including, the variable choice the system make to feed power to the wheels -electric ,engine or both.The central display provides information related to navigation ,Audio and fuel economy.Touch feedback is good and also gets pinch to zoom in/out of maps.It’s pretty good,though doesn’t have the highest resolution,best UI or feel.It works pretty well though.
A camera under the left ORVM captures blind spots which the mirror leaves out and sends back a feed to the central screen.This feature can stay on continuously via a switch on the right stalks,or comes when the left is blinker is used.As mentioned befors , a fency additon is the ability to switch the engine on remotely via a switch on the keyfob,which can help heat or cool the cabin according to conditions.
Powertrain And Performance.
The Accord Hybrid Sports what Honda likes calling the Sport Hybrid Intelligent Multi Mode Drive(i-MMD).It is a full Hybrid system featuring a 2.0 litre , 16-valve, i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine combined with two powerful electic motors.Other patrs of the powertrain include a Power Conrol Unit(PCU) with high power output density and a 1.3 kilowatt-hour(kWH) high output Lithium-Ion battery.An E-VCT transmission takes care of the transmission duties.The car also employs regenrative braking by virtue of Electric Servo Brakes,claimed to have a high regenration efficiency.
Honda claims that the Accord Hybrid has the world’s most efficient hybrid system with a fuel of economy of 21.3km/l.The combined maximum output from the hybrid system is rated at 215 PS, that is pretty spectular, particularly knowing those potency claims.
In the EV Drive Mode, the driving motor provides motive force drawing energy from the lithium ion battery.The Accord Hybrid can over about 2 km in Full EV Mode, which can be activated by a switch near the gear lever,provede barreries are full charged.
In the Hybrid Drive Mode,the ICE powers the generator motor that provides energy to the driving motor. In this mode, the battery can also assist the driving motor as per driving conditions.
In the Engine Drive Mode, the engine power is directly sent to the wheels.
The E-CVT gear case includes a drive selector that permits the motive force to decide on from a special ‘B’ mode in addition. The B mode enhences regenerative braking by allowing the motors to recharge aggressively as you lift your foot off the acceleration pedal , in turn , making the car decelerate rapidly.
While this mode will charge the batteries a lot of expeditiously , its use is not advisable on open highways, where you’d rather lift off the pedal and let you car coast maximum efficiency.It is however, advisable use this mode while doing downhill for long durations, and even through slow moving traffice in city.
There’s additionally a Sport Drive Mode incorporated among the E-CVT system. The Sport Mode is activated by pressing the “sport” button on the center console. This mode allows the system to make use of both engine and the electric powertrain to allow for quicker acceleration.
In addition to the aforementioned modes, the driver also has the option to choose an Economy mode for enhanced fuel efficiency. Traction control can be switched off manually,though the Accord Hybrid’s powertrain doesn’t lend itself for the kind of things you’d want to do by turning that system off. When launched with Sport Mode on and taction control off, the Accord Hybrid takes off the line in a pretty quick fashoin. Now whereas the progress off the block and to a definite speed is fast,keep that right pedal pressed and the engine starts feeling noisier than the speed displayed on the clocks.SO while part throttle and cruising is handled in a silent, smooth, seamless manner, if you press hard, the engine starts sounding whiny. The powertrain sound at this point is louder than ideal, and makes you feel you are going faster than you actually are.The E-CVT gearbox is good for cruising and light throttle inputs,though mashing it hard makes you feel as though the car has to make do with just one really long ratio.
RIDE AND HANDLING
Since it’s getting imported as a CBU , the Accord Hybrid, quiet naturally, hasn’t been fine tuned for our ‘unique’ roads.EVEN though it’s coming from a developing country like Thailand , those of you who have visited the travelled through the country by road would acknowledge and appreciate its incomparably better quality of roads.And owing to the aforementioned reason, the ride quality isn’t quiet optimised for the rough surfaces our roads abound with. This is quiet evident at slow speed where there is perceptible vertical movement in the cabin, though the ride settles down nicely as the car gathers momentum.
Steering feels well weighted and nice to hold .Since this test drive was carried out only straight outer roads of Hydrabad we wouldn’t prefer commenting on the dynamic ability of the car around bends or hilly roads.
Deceleration , however, is stronger than usual when you take your foot off the pedal. The car, even in drive mode won’t coast in a free-flowing manner and applies regenerative braking to charge batteries more optimally.
The Accord Hybrid glitters with tech all around, and safety department isn’t an execption with top of the line safety features making this global top seller shine. Apart from utilizing the latest version of Honda’s proprietary Advanced Compatibility Engeering(ACE) body structure for structural rigidity and crash compatibility,the Accord Hybrid has a few other tricks up its sleeve too.The Pedestrian injury Mitigation Design ensures safety of the pedestrians along with the occupants of the car.
An intersting active characteristic is that the Honda LaneWatch blind-spot show with a camera on the passenger-side mirror that comes its visuals on the seven.7-inch i-Mid Screen. There’s also a multi angle rear view camera with 130 -degree, 180-degree and top-down views. The Accord Hybrid additionally options Active Cornering Lights (ACL) for higher dark visibility whereas turning.
Another safety features for pedestrians is the Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS) which creates a sound like a traditional petrol vehicle to alert pedestrians.ABS with EBD, Vehicle Stability Assist(VSA) with traction control, Brake Assist,Motion-Adaptive Electric Power Steering(EPS),Hill Start Assist(HSA) are a few other active safety featres.Six airbags including dual front SRS airbags, Side airbags,and curtain airbags offer passive protection.
Summing it up
Let’s be clear about one thing here -the Accord Hybrid is not for everyone.For those who want to weight the value they get right down to grams for every rupee spared, probably a conventionally powered car would make more sense.This one’s for the rich and the responsible.For those who really cars for the air and the trees around them, at least want to be seen that way.It’s a properly premium car and flaunts its very green,well-blue,and guilt-free label with pride.It’s more for your conscience than your brain,and the earlier you realize that fact, the more sense this snazzy looking , and rather expensive hybrid would make to you.
The Honda Accord Hybrid is foreign from Asian country as a very engineered Unit which implies that it will not get any rebates that similar India-assembled cars get. It does come with a 3-year Unlimited Km standard warranty with Road Side Assistance and a 5-year Unlimited KM battery on Hybrid Battery, which somewhat helps matters.It’s rarher expensive ,though , at INR 37 LAKH (EX-DELHI) and a whopping 40 lakh (EX-Bengaluru)